2019 Featured Speakers and Talent
We’re bringing together many of today’s brightest visionaries! This list is expanding so stay tuned for more additions!
Gavin Newsom is the Governor of California, former Lieutenant Governor of California, and former Mayor of San Francisco.
Newsom is widely recognized for his willingness to lead – repeatedly developing, advocating, and implementing innovative and groundbreaking solutions to some of our most challenging issues. On a wide range of topics including same-sex marriage, gun safety, marijuana, the death penalty, universal health care, access to preschool, technology, criminal justice reform, and the minimum wage, Newsom stuck his neck out and did the right thing, which often led to sweeping changes when his policies were ultimately accepted, embraced, and replicated across the state and nation.
Newsom’s top priorities for his administration are tackling our state’s affordability crisis, creating inclusive economic growth and opportunity for every child, and standing up for California values — from civil rights, to immigration, environmental protection, access to quality schools at all levels, and justice.
Governor Newsom is married to Jennifer Siebel Newsom. They have four children: Montana, Hunter, Brooklynn, and Dutch.
CHIEF EVANGELIST, BRAND MARKETING AT GOOGLE
Gopi Kallayil works with Google’s sales teams and customers to help grow customer brands through digital marketing. In his prior roles at Google, he led the marketing team for the company's flagship advertising product, AdWords, both in the Americas and Asia Pacific—and headed the marketing team for AdSense, Google's publisher-facing product.
Before joining Google, Gopi was on the management team of two Silicon Valley venture-funded startups. While a consultant with McKinsey & Co., he worked on engagements, helping the management teams of large corporations improve business performance and maximize revenues. He has also led large information technology projects for global corporations in India, China, and the United States.
Gopi earned his bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India. He received two master’s degrees in business administration—one from the Indian Institute of Management and another from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to being an avid yoga practitioner and teacher, Gopi is a triathlete, public speaker, global traveler, and Burning Man devotee. He has spoken at TEDx, Renaissance Weekend, The World Peace Festival, and Wisdom 2.0, and hosts a TV program on cable and YouTube called “Change Makers.” He is the author of two books, “The Happy Human” and “The Internet to the Inner-net,” published by Hay House. He has released two music albums titled “Kirtan Lounge.” Gopi holds a guest faculty position teaching brand marketing at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation.
Dr. Erica Anderson
Renowned Clinical Psychologist & Expert in Transgender Healthcare
Erica E. Anderson, Ph.D. is an accomplished clinical psychologist, academic administrator, healthcare executive, professor, and consultant. During a career that spans 4 decades she has held academic appointments in health psychology, public health, clinical psychology, healthcare management and pediatrics. At The University of California San Francisco she serves on the faculty and medical staff of UCSF Benioff in behavioral pediatrics with involvement in the Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic in Pediatric Endocrinology. There she consults with transgender and gender nonconforming childen, adolescents, their families and other healthcare professionals and supports training of healthcare professional students and fellows in the rapidly advancing field of transgender healthcare.
At John F. Kennedy University she served as Professor of Clinical Psychology and previously served as Chair of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Chair of Graduate Psychology, and Dean of the Graduate School. At her previous University she founded and Chaired the Department of Health Sciences and Services and served as Professor of Healthcare Management. At JFKU she taught future psychologists and psychotherapists as she has throughout a long career in health professional education and training. Her special areas of interest include sexuality, gender issues, and trauma.In her private consulting practice through Anderson Health Strategies, L.L.C. Dr Anderson provides consultation to corporations on issues related to sexual and gender diversity and inclusion and success ( including gender transition) of transgender and gender nonconforming leaders. She provides clinical services to teenagers, adults, couples, and families focused upon Sexuality, Gender and Identity. www.drericaanderson.net
Dr Anderson has also appeared on television in the popular TV show in Sweden Allt for Sverige. She became the first openly transgender character in prime time television in Sweden and has been recognized there for her advocay and example as a transgender woman and professional. She was recognized in a full color “centerfold” feature article in the November(2016) issue of the Swedish Magazine QX , the largest circulation LGBTQ magazine in Scandinavia, and she is also on the cover and in a featured article in the December(2016) issue of Svensk Psykiatri, the journal of the Swedish Psychiatric Society, circulated among all psychiatrists and mental health professionals in Sweden. She was a finalist for two awards for the 2017 GayGala in Sweden, trans person of the year and in her show All for Sverige (Everything for Sweden) for best TV show in Sweden. Allt for Sverige is the recipient of the International Emmy for unscripted (reality show) TV show the year she was on the show. Allt for Sverige was also awarded the ‘Kristallen Award’ (Swedish Emmy) the first time the show had been so honored.
She has been an executive in a number of businesses including subsidiaries of Merck/Medco, United Healthcare, Integra, Primary Mental Health Care, and College Health Enterprises. In those organizations she served as Executive Vice President, Senior VIce President, President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors and is sought out as an advisor, mentor, and executive coach.
Since 2016 Dr Anderson has served as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Joan’s House a not for profilt organization creating a shelter and program for homeless and recently incarcerated transgender women in San Francisco. She serves on the Boards of several other organizations and professional societies, including currently as the Past President of the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society. In 2018 she was elected President-Elect of USPATH, the newly created affiliate of WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. In the past several years she has lectured in various Universities in the USA and to audiences in Sweden, Europe, Brazil and Argentina. Dr Eric was an invited speaker at Europride in 2018 and that same year an invited speaker at the Human Rights Conference for Europe focused upon LGBTQIA+ rights in Europe. She has been celebrated throughout Sweden for her contribution to trans rights.She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and an M.A. in Theology. She has studied at the University of Minnesota, the University of Southern California, and Fuller Theological Seminary.
She has published a number of articles in professional journals, chapters in scientific books, and has served as a consulting editor for several professional journals. She is currently writing a book on Transgender Sexuality. She was listed for many years in Who’s Who in America as Eric and in recent years as Erica, one of few individuals listed there both as a man and as a woman. She resides in Berkeley, California.
Michael Bernard Beckwith
Founder and Spiritual Director, Agape International Spiritual Center
Michael Bernard Beckwith is the Founder and Spiritual Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, a trans-denominational community headquartered in Los Angeles comprised of thousands of local members and global live streamers. This November marks Agape’s 33rd Anniversary. Highly regarded for his teachings on the science of inner transformation, Dr. Beckwith embraces a practical approach to spirituality utilizing meditation, affirmative prayer, and Life VisioningTM, a process he originated. These practices teach us to take the experience of inner peace and awakened awareness into our everyday lives.
In 2012, Dr. Beckwith addressed the UN General Assembly during its annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. As co-founder and president of the Association for Global New Thought, he hosts conferences featuring harbingers of world peace including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and had the distinguished honor of presenting to Nelson Mandela the Gandhi King Award.
Dr. Beckwith is a sought after meditation teacher, conference speaker, and seminar leader on the Life Visioning ProcessTM. Three of his most recent books—Life Visioning, Spiritual Liberation, and TranscenDance Expanded are recipients of the prestigious Nautilus Award. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s SuperSoul Sunday, SuperSoul Sessions, and Help Desk; Dr. Oz; CNN, The Oprah Show; Larry King Live; Tavis Smiley; and in his own PBS Special, The Answer Is You and is a member of Oprah’s prestigious inaugural SuperSoul 100. Every Friday at 1pm PST, thousands tune into his radio show on KPFK, WAKE UP! The Sound of Transformation.
Co-founder, MoveOn.org, LivingRoomConversation.org
Joan Blades is a co-founder of LivingRoomconversations.org an open source effort to rebuild respectful civil discourse across ideological, cultural and party lines while embracing our core-shared values, and a co-founder AllSidesforSchools.org a partnership between AllSides.com and Living Room Conversations. She is also a co-founder of MomsRising.org and MoveOn.org She is a co-author of The Custom-Fit Workplace, winner of a Nautilus book award in 2011 and The Motherhood Manifesto, which won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize in 2007. Last century Joan was a software entrepreneur, a co-founder of Berkeley Systems - best known for the flying toaster and game You Don't Know Jack. A mediator (attorney) by training and inclination, she is a nature lover, artist and true believer in the power of citizens and our need to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values.
A Clown who Became a Doctor To Bring his Hospital to the World
After he graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1971, Patch began what would become his life-long mission: The Gesundheit Institute. The pilot project, which ran from 1971 through 1983, saw over 15,000 patients visiting his large 6-bedroom communal home, shared with friends, fellow doctors, and patients. To support this radical hospital, friends took outside work to support the love that comes from helping others. As the pilot drawn to a close, Patch realized he needed to make his dream hospital a reality.
No one was going to “give” him a hospital – Patch had to go out into the world and find the hospital of his dreams. After 36 years, Patch remains energized and ready to take on the medical cure-focused for-profit industry.
- a free hospital that eliminates 90% of the cost of healthcare
- a hospital that isn’t filled with anxiety about how to treat patients
- a hospital that allows the doctors to connect with the patients at an intimate level
- a hospital that treats the care-givers and care-receivers as friends
- a hospital that welcomes complementary practices, rather than shuns them.
Patch lectures and performs over 200 days of the year. He has travelled throughout the world delivering his message of peace and love while challenging the audience to love and care about themselves, their community, and our planet. Every year, Patch leads 9 different missions to lead clowns into impoverished communities, war zones, refugee camps, and disaster areas. Patch’s dedication toward clowning has sparked a movement that has grown to independent clown groups in 120 countries.
Come, join the fun!
Sister Dr. Jenna
SPIRITUAL MENTOR, AUTHOR
Sister Dr. Jenna is a spiritual mentor, author, radio and tv personality, renowned speaker and founder of the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Museum in Maryland and Virginia. She serves as one of the evolutionary leaders in service to conscious evolution and was selected by empower a billion women 2020 as one of 100 most influential leaders of 2015. She sits on various advisory boards such as, million mammas movement, conscious good media, global women's network to mention a few.
Sister Dr. Jenna also served as a principal partner with the Oprah Winfrey Network and values partnerships on the belief team, a community of individuals from diverse spiritual, cultural and faith backgrounds and was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by St. Thomas Aquinas College for her many years of dedication and service to humanity. She is also a contributing author in the book, Mr. President – Interfaith Perspectives on the Historic Presidency of Barack H. Obama. Her mission is to decode critical current issues and offer a perspective for folks to find clarity, power, and insight. Sister Dr. Jenna’s voice of influence is particularly needed in the wake of tragedy and increasing violence in our world.
She has traveled to over 80 countries where she continues to provide practical life tools and solutions that empower people to foster and build stronger relationships. Her wisdom, peace, and compassion for humanity are expressed through the variety of initiatives she spearheads for youth, women, governments, and communities. She has collaborated with fortune 500 companies on key issues and her syndicated radio show, America Meditating is a popular global online show.
Sister Dr. Jenna is the recipient of numerous awards and proclamations including, the president’s lifetime national community service award, Everyday Hero Award by the Foundation for a Better Life, and the Friendship Archway awards, to name a few.
MUSICIANS, ARTIVISTS, SPEAKERS
Recognizing creativity as the antidote to destruction, Climbing PoeTree combines impassioned lyricism, political theater, and boundary-breaking music to activate the transformation the world is thirsty for. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman have independently organized 36 national and international tours, taking their visionary work from South Africa to Cuba, including 11,000 miles across the U.S. on a bus fueled by recycled vegetable oil.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Climbing PoeTree assembled an all-women crew to deliver the award-winning Hurricane Season, a multimedia performance addressing unnatural disasters that featured local change-makers along 50 tour stops. Since then, Alixa and Naima have gathered over 10,000 handwritten stories from more than 10,000 people they’ve encountered on their journeys, and sewn them together into a massive colorful tapestry to dispel the myths that are created to keep us divided.
Beyond performers, these love-led luminaries are community organizers, compelling speakers, workshop facilitators, filmmakers, earth stewards, medicine-makers, muralists and mentors.
Climbing PoeTree has stirred crowds at diverse venues from the United Nations to Rikers Island Prison, Harlem Stage to Harvard University with their rebel-rousing anthems, bilingual ballads, and unconventional love songs. They have been featured alongside powerhouses such as Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, Alice Walker, Erykah Badu, Cornel West, and Angela Davis, who writes:
"Each time I have the pleasure of attending a performance by Climbing PoeTree, I feel enriched, renewed, and inspired. Alixa and Naima insist that poetry can change the world—and it is true that the urgency, power and beauty of their words impel us to keep striving for the radical futures toward which they gesture."
Elijah Ray is an international recording artist, vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist with a professional music career spanning more than 17 years.
As the superconductor of the Band of Light he produces music that crosses a wide variety of genres...from Acoustic Soul, Funk, World Beat, Dance / Pop and Rock... to soul stirring Piano Ballads, Symphonic Soundtracks, and Sound Healing.
His shining presence, gritty soul, and message of love invite the listener into an experience of what it is to be "in the BAND OF LIGHT'. His anthems, love songs and sonic hymns have transformed audiences all over the world. Many are calling his music the "soundtrack of the awakening." Both mystical and raw, Elijah’s charisma and musical prowess draws his audience into life’s nectar--spiritual, sexy, sweaty, gritty, and ecstatic.
Elijah, alone, generates a full band sound on most of his tracks, playing almost every instruments and arranging many of his pieces himself. He has mastered the art of solo touring--taking his audience from one dimension to another with just his voice, his loop-pedal and his guitar, Ruby.
He has toured the world from Bali to Ibiza to Egypt and the US at large. Elijah has played, collaborated and shared the stage with countless artists like Bibi McGill (Beyonce's Lead Guitarist), Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5), Graham Nash, Andre Manga (Paul Simon), Ben Stiller, Donovon Frankenreiter, G Love, Brett Dennon, Bushwalla, the Luminaries, Tina Malia, Youssouphe Sidibe, Tubby Love, Jay ‘Bird” Koder, Michael Ruff, and many more.
Elijah has been featured in documentaries such as Indigo Evolution, and Living in Light, alongside such luminaries as Neale Donald Walsh, Dr. Matsuro Emoto, Doreen Virtue, Gangaji, Eli Jaxson-Bear and Panache Desai. Hecontinues to tour the world, release new music and broadcast live shows. Those who want more can experience Elijah’s work by attending a SoundLight Experience, retreats, vocal empowerment workshops, masterclasses, and a host of other community projects.
Assistant Vice Provost, Stanford University
Dereca Blackmon is a spiritual activist with over 30 years experience supporting communities in radical healing. She has a distinguished history of leadership and service in local and national organizing efforts on subjects as diverse as ethnic studies and police accountability. She currently serves as the an Assistant Vice Provost at Stanford University and CEO and Founder of the Inclusion Design Group, where she and her teams have trained over 20,000 people in cultural humility, radical healing and creating courageous conversations that are both safe and brave.
Ms. Blackmon co-led the effort to organize the Bay Area community response to the murder of Oscar Grant III. After mobilizing thousands of protestors and holding countless meetings and rallies she began to question the strategy of organizing “against” rather than “for.” She dedicated herself to a path of spiritual activism, becoming one of the nation’s leading speakers on the topic to packed audiences nationwide.
President & CEO of The Shift Network
Stephen Dinan is the co-founder and CEO of The Shift Network and a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and Evolutionary Leaders. The Shift Network was founded in 2010 and has served over 700,000 people worldwide, with customers in 150 countries. It delivers virtual summits, courses, and trainings featuring over 50 core faculty and 1,000 thought leaders in domains as diverse as spirituality, peace, holistic health, psychology, parenting, enlightened business, shamanism, indigenous wisdom, and sustainability.
As the former director of membership and marketing at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, he was the driving force behind the Shift in Action program and the One Minute Shift media series. He has been a featured speaker at the World Cultural Forum in China, the Alliance for a New Humanity in Costa Rica, Renovemos Mexico in Mexico City, and the University of Cuenca in Ecuador, as well as many US conferences, events, radio programs, and online summits. He is also the author of Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All and Radical Spirit.
Stephen is a graduate of Stanford University (Human Biology) and the California Institute of Integral Studies (East-West Psychology). He helped create and directed the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory & Research, a think tank for leading scholars, researchers, and teachers to explore human potential frontiers.
Stephen lives in San Rafael, California, with his beloved wife Devaa.
Founder & CEO of Conscious Good
With the belief that visual stories have the power to transform society, Trina launched Conscious Good, a community-driven media platform committed to elevating consciousness. Conscious Good envisions a world where every being feels connected to themselves, to each other and to something greater. To fulfill this vision, Conscious Good is raising awareness on the impact what we watch has on our wellbeing, increasing access to conscious media, and supporting visual storytellers and their work through its Creators Network and non-profit sister organization, Conscious Goodness.
One of Trina’s most notable career achievements was launching the Tribeca Film Festival for Robert De Niro and taking the reigns as its first Festival Director. Trina has also held leadership positions with entertainment companies such as Gaia, Prana Studios, Intrepid Pictures, Withoutabox (sold to Amazon), Film Independent, Turner Pictures and Carolco Pictures. Considered a leader in the conscious media movement, Trina has spoken at numerous national events on the topic of media/entertainment and its impact.
Trina received her MBA from NYU and her BA from UCLA. Trina is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher and was recently honored to join the group, Evolutionary Leaders.
Christine Marie Mason
FOUNDER OF ROSEBUD WOMAN
Christine is a six-time founder and CEO with several $100M+ exits, an author, yogi, purposeful teacher and speaker, a mom of four, and a grandmother. Her current endeavor, Rosebud Woman, invites a new conversation about women, women’s bodies, self-care and power. She is the co-founder and director of New Earth Mandala, a meditation, yoga and art center on Hawai’i. Christine has been teaching, studying and writing on yoga and consciousness since 2000, with an emphasis on bringing yoga into daily life and human systems. Her books include Indivisible, Bending the Bow, The Invitation, Love in the Face of Everything and the upcoming 9 Gifts.
Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest and an activist for gender justice and eco-justice. He has written 37 books that have been translated into 68languages over 70 times. Among them are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion, The Reinvention of Work, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, Christian Mystics and The Pope’s War. He has contributed much to the rediscovery of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and Thomas Aquinas as pre-modern mystics and prophets. Fox holds a doctorate in the history and theology of spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. The founder of the University of Creation Spirituality in California, he conducts dozens of workshops each year and is a visiting scholar at the Academy for the Love of Learning.
In joining the Episcopal church over 20 years ago, Fox has been working with young people to reinvent forms of worship by bringing elements of rave such as dance, dj, vj and more into the Western Liturgy. The Cosmic Mass has been celebrated over 100 times and in dozens of cities in North America.
Fox is recipient of the Abbey Courage of Conscience Peace Award (other recipients being the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa, Ernesto Cardenal and Rosa Parks), the Ghandi King Ikeda Award, the Tikkun National Ethics Award and other awards.
His latest books are Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God; Stations of the Cosmic Christ; and The Lotus & the Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Academy of the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, NM and resides in Vallejo, California.
Executive Director, A Community for Peace
Visionary, passionate and fiercely dedicated to the empowerment of every victim of trauma and abuse, Elaine M. Whitefeather has spent her last 38 years in human service work, 36 of those years in the field of domestic violence.
Motivated by personal experiences that included childhood abuse, racial violence, sexual assault and cancer, she has turned these obstacles into opportunities of empowerment, healing and wholeness.
Elaine is a recognized authority in the field of domestic and family violence. She has created and resurrected over 40 domestic violence programs both nationally and internationally. In 1974 Elaine graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. She then combined her formal education with her vast training by cultural and spiritual leaders from around the world to build innovative, effective and progressive social programs. These ground-breaking curriculums have been established as models for the Family Support Centers serving military families and civilian communities from the Philippines to Hawaii; Southern California to her current service here in Sacramento County. This span of diversity is reflected in her own diverse ancestral heritage. She is Japanese, African American, Native American and German.
A professional speaker and published author, she has delivered keynotes that challenge, catalyze and inspire audiences from Domestic Violence Coalitions and organizations to businesses, faith based audiences; from the homeless to college students, locally and nationally. She is an ordained Interfaith minister and is part of the Greater Sacramento Interfaith Council and honored to open the California State Legislative and Senate session in prayer.
Elaine is currently the Executive Director of A Community For Peace, a trauma informed domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center in Sacramento County and CEO of Foundation For Peaceful Communities, a foundation developing and supporting social renewal projects and enterprises that empower under served and high risk populations.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF EMPOWERMENT INSTITUTE
David Gershon, co-founder and CEO of Empowerment Institute has been called “the number one expert on social change.” He applies his visionary leadership and social change expertise to designing second order change solutions for cities, countries and the planet that enable the seemingly impossible to become possible. Over the past four decades the initiatives he’s designed have won many awards and achieved much recognition.
David is the author of twelve books, including the award-winning Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World and the best-selling Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life as You Want It. He co-directs Empowerment Institute’s School for Transformative Social Change which empowers social entrepreneurs from around the world to design and implement second order change social innovations. He has lectured at Harvard, MIT, and Johns Hopkins and served as an advisor to the Clinton White House and the United Nations on empowerment.
He is currently working on an initiative called: “A Bottom-Up Grand Strategy to Reinvent the Planet: Building Second Order Change Capacity Around the Five Strategic Levers—Climate, Development Peace, Knowledge and Money.” David has dedicated his life to empowering humanity to believe we can create the world of our dreams and designing the strategies and tools to help us make this a reality.
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Author, Editor of Tikkun
Rabbi Michael Lerner is the editor of Tikkun: the prophetic and empathic Jewish, interfaith, and secular-humanist-and-atheist voice for those who seek a world of justice and compassion. His 12th book, Revolutionary Love, comes out in October. Cornel West, author of Race Matters and Prof. of African American Studies at Harvard U., says "Lerner is one of the most significant prophetic public intellectuals and spiritual leaders of our generation. Secular intellectuals and those who yearn for a major change in the direction of American society can learn a lot from reading his books.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NETWORK OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESSIVES (NSP)
Cat Zavis is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) and co-Editor of Tikkun magazine. She is also a collaborative divorce attorney, mediator, coach, and trainer in conflict resolution and empathic communication. She is currently pursuing Rabbinic ordination through Aleph – the Jewish Renewal Ordination Program.
Cat grounds her life and work in spiritual traditions and teachings, particularly in Judaism. She sees Torah as a radical liberatory theology that provides spiritual meaning and practices, as well as guidelines for how to live an ethical life. These values infuse her efforts with the NSP to build a movement of love and justice – one that actually embodies these values not only in the goals and outcomes it strives to achieve, but also in the movement itself. Cat adds a powerful voice to the discussion of how to integrate spiritual values and principles into our work as activists and in the political arena, why being visionary and idealistic is called for at this time, and how integrating spiritual values can bridge political divides and address systemic problems.
September 11th, 2001, Mikki was in New York to meet with distributors regarding his debut feature film. He was among a group of civilians that rushed to the scene to aid in the search and rescue efforts under the rumble of the Wolrd Trade Center. After three days of digging for survivors, he returned to California with a new vision for his life and career.
In 2005, Mikki Willis launched Elevate Film Festival, a global competition that challenged filmmakers to focus on the good news and solutions of the world. The one-of-kind show earned the title of "The World's Largest Single Screen Film Event."
Proceeding a three year tour, the festival morphed into Elevate, a cause driven film production company and community. Elevate has created hundreds of breakthrough productions, including television series, documentaries, features films, music videos for multi-platinum artists, and viral videos that have accumulated more than 250 billion views.
Mayor Heidi Harmon
MAYOR OF SAN LUIS OBISPO
Heidi has been an advocate for positive solutions to local and global challenges for the past 30 years. She is a social, environmental, and gender justice leader and is committed to creating an equitable and sustainable world. Climate crisis brings into clear understanding that everything is connected and that the world thrives when people, planet and prosperity for all are centered. Now, Mayor of San Luis Obispo, Heidi has been able to turn protests into policies and lead the city to one of the most ambitious carbon neutrality goals in the United States.
Co-Founder & President, See Jane Do
Elisa is a speaker, coalition builder, strategist and visionary for gender parity and social justice. She is the co-founder, producer and host of the award-winning radio program and multimedia platform See Jane Do, co-founder of Indivisible Women, co-founder of 100 Women Change Hollywood: Partners in Parity and co-creator, founder and host of WonderLove and co-director of 50 Women Can Change the World in Media & Entertainment.
Elisa's work takes her around the world to discover and share the extraordinary stories and solutions in each of us. She hosts a weekly show for nationally acclaimed radio station KVMR and is the co-founder and director of the Passion into Action™ Women’s Conference, TEDxGrassValley, Raising Jane and the See Jane Do Media Lounge. She reaches thousands through partnership with like-minded organizations and develops organizational-wide initiatives, communications strategies for events and digital media campaigns that support women’s leadership and gender equity.
Elisa is an alumna of the Women’s Media Center Progressive Women’s Voices program, Take the Lead Women and the Vote, Run, Lead Go Run program. She holds a BA in Communications from San Francisco State and a MA in Organization Development & Leadership at the University of San Francisco. Learn more at www.seejanedo.com
John Wood, Jr.
Director of Media Development, Better Angels
John Randolph Wood, Jr. is a writer, public intellectual, community advocate and American political figure from Los Angeles, CA whose work has focused on creating dialogue and understanding between polarized communities. In 2014 Mr. Wood was California’s youngest active nominee for congress, challenging longstanding representative Maxine Waters, and featured on programs like The Larry Elder Show and in publications such as The National Review Online. His campaign was notable for its nonpartisan focus and its emphasis on cultivating empathetic collaboration across political and racial divides in Los Angeles. Subsequently Wood was elected Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, a position he held from December 2014 to June of 2016. Tiring of the partisanship and cynicism of conventional party politics, Wood turned his attention to the cause of political depolarization. He now serves as director of media development at Better Angels, is cohost of The Better Angels Podcast and is the architect of Better Angels’ media network.
As a writer, Wood’s work has focused on the subjects of race, religion, public policy, social commentary, the intersection of politics and science and political and moral philosophy. His writings have been featured in Quillette, as well as Areo Magazine, Arc Digital, Better Angels Media, The Washington Times Communities, Reflections (a journal of the Yale School of Divinity), The Flash Report and Black Is Online. As a speaker he has spoken to a politically and professionally diverse range of audiences, including at the USC Unruh Institute of Politics, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, Evergreen State College, Upswell Los Angles (an Independent Sector conference), Better Angels’ Founding Convention and The Village Square in Tallahassee, Florida.
Wood is the grandson of the late record industry pioneer Randy Wood, of Dot Records and Randy’s Record Shop fame. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
Board President and Co-Founder, Chill Sacramento
Laura Hansen is Board President and Co-Founder, Chill Sacramento, an organization dedicated to building healthy, safe communities where all residents feel they belong. Chill's most recent project is Compassionate Sacramento, a partnership with the City of Sacramento and many community organizations to raise the awareness of compassionate policy and decision-making in everyday life. She is an advisor to Compassionate California, a best-selling author, strategic business advisor, community organizer and volunteer.
John founded AllSides with the mission to free people from filter bubbles so they can better understand the world and each other. He also co-founded AllSidesForSchools.org. Both organizations are led and staffed by people across the political spectrum. Both strengthen our democracy and our social fabric.
John has over 25 years of high technology entrepreneurship, management and executive experience, leading product, marketing and consumer teams and divisions. He started by joining the original Microsoft Office team, later became the PM team lead for Netscape Navigator and the first consumer release of the Mozilla web browser (now known as Firefox). He also led ZoneAlarm at Check Point Software (online security), and co-founded Kavi Corp (web-based collaboration, later sold to Higher Logic). In the 80s, John was a Republican operative working for George H. W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, the Republican National Committee and others.
Principal Consultant, New World Associates
Dr. Roberto Vargas is a community organizer, organization psychologist, leadership coach, and ceremony leader. A community activist for over 50 years, his professional practice as a planning consultant and leadership trainer has involved providing consultations on community problem-solving, multicultural team-building, and proactive planning throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Sweden.
Founding director of several counseling centers and author of Family Activism: Empowering Your Community, Beginning with Family and Friends (Berrett-Koelher, San Francisco), his theory and tools for people empowerment, leadership development, and cultural activism are used by many.
I studied and worked in architecture, dreaming of one day owning a practice. For reasons I understood later, I decided not to pursue that path that I set out on. As I transitioned away from architecture, I developed a keen interest in wellbeing. I found movement and cleansing practices that lit me up unlike anything before. I became a teacher at The Dailey Method and began to unearth parts of myself that had been hiding. I found Vitaliti Wellness clean eating programs and discovered an even deeper relationship with my body.
My studies of meditation, yoga, and ayurveda began informing everything I pursued. Wellbeing became my personal priority. Awareness became my practice. When that became clear, tools began to flow to me. I received my 200 hour teaching certification from Stephanie Snyder and 250 hours in clinical ayurveda studies with DeAnna Batdorff. I teach vinyasa yoga, ayurvedic lifestyle, and I host gatherings and workshops that invite one to press pause.
There are few things more fulfilling to me than gathering people together and facilitating nourishment and connection.
Connect in Sonoma, California, or virtually at eltaff.com.
TEACHING STYLE //
I teach a vigorous vinyasa flow, accompanied by dynamic music, sprinkled with bhakti, and bookended with kirtan.
Author, Spiritual Messenger
Felipe Zimmer is a spiritual messenger and the author of Masters of Belief. He was born in Brazil and currently resides in California, United States. Born into a family that no one talked about spirituality or self-knowledge, at age 17 he spontaneously had a profound spiritual transformation, an inner experience that shifted his reality. However, it was only years later that he was able to understand this transformation, which he later began to share with those interested in experiencing for themselves.
He spent most of the last decade meditating on the essence of life. This led him to retreat to a house in the thick of nature, driven by the intention to discover himself on a deeper level and rediscover humanity as a whole. Without books, technologies or the presence of other people, Felipe looked at existence from beyond the mental meanderings of daily life. By expanding his consciousness, he was struck by inspiration not of this world but from what is beyond. It was then that he received the inspiration to write a book.
After this experience, Felipe decided to share with others what he had learned. He began to work with individuals and groups of people in southern Brazil who sought inner transformation. Recently graduated from a university and having a promising career ahead of him, Felipe left everything behind to live and share a spiritual message with people from all walks of life. Now he lives in the United States, where he extends his work to the rest of the world.
For more info, check out www.FelipeZimmer.com
Reverend Dr. Joy Johnson
Reverend Dr. Joy Johnson is President of Sacramento Area Congregations Together (SacACT) where she mobilizes public sentiment around social justice grounded in faith - working alongside clergy/leaders of varied faith traditions and ethnic backgrounds.
She is the founder, president of Life Matters, Inc. (LMI), a non-profit, social services organization providing life-transforming skill development to residents in low-income housing communities. She is a key leader and architect of Community Healing Circles around Racial and Community Trauma.
She is deeply committed to building bridges of unity among racially diverse faith leaders. Currently, she leads preacher-formation cohorts for the Ogilive Institute of Preaching at Fuller Seminary.
Dr. Johnson is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA and has a doctorate degree from Sacramento Theological Seminary in Sacramento, CA. She has long served in pastoral leadership at the local church level and currently serves at Agape Alive Church in Roseville.
As a conscientious and gifted team builder, Pastor Joy cultivates collaborative and interdependent leadership teams to foster and maintain direction. She leads growing communities to strategically overcome opposition and achieve notable systems of social justice.
Renowned Electric Cellist, Vocalist & Composer
Jami Sieber is a celebrated pioneer of her instrument with an inspiring and fearless style of performance that has been recognized internationally. Sieber creates her own kind of world music, boasting immediate emotional impact and conveying a visionary presence that goes beyond the gorgeous melodies and tribal rhythms.
Reaching inside the soul with compositions that are lush and powerfully evocative, her music transforms from the deepest stillness to moving melodies and rhythms that light the heart on fire. Her life-long commitment to the environment, social justice, and the healing arts is at the heart of her music, reflecting a deep dedication to the arts as a medium to express the interconnectedness of all beings.
This sometimes ethereal, sometimes hard-edged musician has earned rave reviews throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Employing looping devices and electronics to create sounds never before associated with the cello, Sieber transforms her solo instrument into an orchestra of sound that opens the heart, defies the mind, and sets the body dancing.
Sieber's musical path has traveled from classical to folk to rock/pop to where now she stands in her own genre-defying musical style. Since launching her solo career in 1994, she has performed her original compositions around the world, diving into dynamic collaborations with an extraordinary spectrum of dancers, actors, poets, visual artists, improvisers, vocalists, and instrumentalists that span the globe.
She has been commissioned to compose for film, (PBS American Masters - Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk of Lightning (2014), Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (2013), Queen of the Sun (2010), Jews and Buddism: Belief Amended, Faith Revealed (1999)) theatre, (Orpheus, TS Crossing) dance, (Llory Wilson and Tallulah, Equus Dance Project, Facing East Dance Co.) and her compositions have been used in the popular video game – Braid. Jami Sieber has independently produced eight recordings on her label Out Front Music.
Creator of GameChangers 500
For more than a decade Andrew has been uniting the GameChangers of our time to evolve economics and address the systemic challenges we face.
In 2010 Andrew set out on a mission to showcase a new standard of success in business, which lead to the publication of GameChangers 500, a ranking of the world's top mission-driven businesses. Through this extensive research initiative, Andrew became a sought-after expert in what differentiates high-performing purpose-driven organizations, was featured in news media around the world, and earned a seat on an advisory council guiding federal legislation within the U.S. government. Purpose-driven pioneers like Patagonia, creators of tribe-like cultures such as Zappos, and cause champions like TOMS are among the organizations Andrew has studied and worked with through his journey.
By 2016 Andrew had witnessed many of the organizations he had praised as "best in the world" slip back into traditional profit-driven behavior. Using a Game Theory as a guide, Andrew began extensively exploring what it takes to truly "change the game", recognizing that behaviors in business are primarily driven by what we measure and how we motivate. His latest research is focused on evolving economics from win-lose to win-for-all outcomes.
He serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence Emeritus at UC San Diego, is on the board of the Pachamama Alliance, and addresses a diversity of audiences including students at the United Nations University for Peace, CEO’s of Asia’s largest banks, government officials in the U.A.E, and everything in between.
Andrew was born to Irish parents, raised in Canada, built a company in Costa Rica, and has lived around the world. While he considers Earth his primary home, he is most often found in the western United States enjoying the great outdoors.
Fumi Johns Stewart
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH INTERNATIONAL
Fumi Johns Stewart was born in Tokyo, Japan and grew up with a sincere wish to bridge the two cultures of her American and Japanese parentage. Fumi was instrumental in introducing the Japanese based May Peace Prevail On Earth movement founded in 1954 to the international community in the early 1980’s.
She brought The Peace Pole Project out of Japan and helped to establish the international Peace Pole Movement. She assisted in opening the Headquarters of The World Peace Prayer Society which was registered as a non-profit organization in the state of New York in 1988. In 2019 the name was officially changed to May Peace Prevail On Earth International. Fumi also serves as US representative of the Fuji Sanctuary and the Goi Peace Foundation of Japan. She currently lives in San Francisco and travels extensively to promote May Peace Prevail On Earth activities.
Dr. Brian Swimme
Director of the Center for the Story of the Universe; Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco
Brian Thomas Swimme is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon in 1978 for work in gravitational dynamics.
He brings the context of story to our understanding of the 13.7 billion year trajectory of cosmogenesis. Such a story, he feels, will assist in the emergence of a flourishing Earth community.
Swimme is the author of The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos and The Universe is a Green Dragon. He is co-author of The Universe Story, which is the result of a 10 year collaboration with cultural historian, Thomas Berry. Swimme is also the creator of three educational video series: Canticle to the Cosmos (1990), The Earth’s Imagination (1998), and The Powers of the Universe (2004).
He lectures widely and has presented at conferences sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The World Bank, UNESCO, The United Nations Millennium Peace Summit, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Most recently he hosted and co-wrote, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, the 60 minute film Journey of the Universe, broadcast on PBS television stations nationwide. Journey of the Universe won the Northern California regional Emmy for Best Documentary, 2011. The Journey of the Universe book, ebook and ed series are published by and available from Yale University Press.
Co-founder of OneDome Global
Chris Deckker has been involved in creating transformational events and festivals for over 30 years. He is the founder of one of the UK's most successful alternative music clubs "Return to the Source" and record label, which gained international recognition in the 90’s. He is also the founder of the electronic music group Medicine Drum, one of the pioneering EDM acts to fuse dance beats with live acoustic instruments. In 1997 he founded "Earthdance International - The Global Festival for Peace", which grew to become the world's biggest synchronized music and dance event, uniting promoters from over 700 locations in 75 countries. Originally aimed at supporting Tibet, Earthdance has been described by the office of his Holiness the Dalai Lama "as the most successful global event of its kind aimed at supporting the Tibetan people." Earthdance now supports global charities worldwide. Chris’s latest adventures into pushing the boundaries of transformational events and media include UPLIFT (co-founder), a hybrid eco-conference and music festival and rapidly expanding internet media channel, and most currently, OneDome (co-founder), an immersive digital arts venue which launched in San Francisco in 2018.
Diversity & Inclusion Executive
Whitney Davis began her career at CBS over 13 years ago as a Page and worked her way up from Digital Journalist and Associate Producer for CBS News to Diversity and Inclusion Executive at the network. Davis was part of a team charged with educating and fostering a more inclusive culture while identifying new voices both in front and behind the camera. Disillusioned with a corporate culture unwilling to change, Davis resigned, a decision she chronicled in an open letter recently published in Variety. Davis is a proud wife and mother of twins who has found herself lending her voice to a movement that transcends race and gender in an effort to inspire a new generation of storytellers while shaping the landscape of an evolving corporate environment.
Philip M. Hellmich
Director of Peace at The Shift Network, Author
Philip M. Hellmich is a thought leader in creating a new narrative of peace, from inner peace to international peacebuilding. As the Director of Peace at The ShiftNetwork, Philip is the chief architect of the Summer of Peace, Yoga DaySummit and WorldPeace Library - online global forums that seek to inspire, inform and involve people in the many ways that peace is emerging around the world. He also is the co-lead faculty of the PeaceAmbassador Training. These peace programs provide skills training, inspirational stories, and powerful solutions from the world’s top peacebuilders, social change leaders, scientists, Indigenous elders and spiritual mentors.
Philip has dedicated most of his life to global and local peacebuilding initiatives, including 14 years with Search for Common Ground. He also served for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone where he lived and worked in small remote bush villages. A published writer, Philip is author of God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis with a Foreword by Lama Surya Das.
Philip serves as a board member of the Rasur Foundation International and adviser to The Global Peace Initiative of Women, The Gaiafield Project, American Museum of Peace and The Oracle Institute. Philip is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a project of The Source of Synergy Foundation. He is a member of the Rotary eClub of World Peace. He is also a long-time meditation practitioner and enjoys studying and teaching about the parallels between inner and outer peace.
Brenda Gustin, Ph.D
WRITER, SPEAKER, EDUCATOR, HEALING FACILITATOR AND SOCIAL INNOVATOR
Brenda Gustin, Ph.D., is a writer, speaker, educator, healing facilitator and social innovator. As a mother, she collaborated to create a Sudbury School. After 18 years, she became co-director of The Radiant Health Center and educates in corporate and medical institutions. Tools of transcendence through yoga, meditation/mindfulness and complementary healing practices bring wellness and peace to the body and mind. Brenda enjoys collaborating and serving as a semiconductor bridging science, education and wellness through sacred geometry and the art of alchemy. Current projects include The Alchemy of Our Compassionate Wisdom and Power, The Charter for Compassion, Women and Girls Sector, Mercey Springs Foundation, Chill Sacramento, BraveHeart Women Global Community The Shift Network and Ananda Worldwide.
CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIST AT BIONEERS
Nina Simons, Co-founder and Chief Relationship Strategist at Bioneers, is a social entrepreneur passionate about reinventing leadership, restoring the feminine, and co-creating a healthy and equitable future for all life on Earth. An advocate for social and environmental healing, she speaks and teaches internationally on leadership and transformational social change and is dedicated to the value of creating truly diverse collaborations and connections among issues, leaders and movements.
Nina is co-editor of Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, and a contributor to Ecological and Social Healing: Multicultural Women’s Voices. She co-facilitates transformative leadership intensives and retreats on regenerative leadership through relational mindfulness. Nina received a Robert Rodale award in 2003 and was a recipient in 2017 of the Goi Peace Award. Her book, Nature, Culture & the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership (Green Fire Press, 2019) has recently been awarded the Gold Nautilus Award.
Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY)
Born to a Black radical mother during the uprising of the Watts Rebellion and coming of age in South Central Los Angeles during the embittered racial relations and social unrest of the civil rights era ignited within Dr. Bankhead a passionate commitment to social justice advocacy and transformative community empowerment. Social Work Professor at California State University, Sacramento and Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), Teiahsha Bankhead is a social justice activist, a restorative justice advocate, and a licensed psychotherapist with both MSW and Ph.D. degrees in social work. Her future is focused on expanding the work of RJ towards radical inclusivity and practicing restorative justice through an equity lens in ways that honor its indigenous roots.
Devaa Haley Mitchell
CO-FOUNDER OF THE SHIFT NETWORK
Chief Transformation Officer, hosts Shift Network’s Inspiring Women Summit, facilitates our women’s programs, and designs facilitation and transformation strategies for many of our programs. Devaa’s background includes roles in the public benefit sector (Director at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Exec. Director of Full Circle Fund), as well as the business sector (Boston Consulting Group). Devaa was ordained as an interfaith minister by the Chaplaincy Institute and received a BA and an MA from Stanford University. She was also awarded a fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation.
Through many collaborations, and countless performances over the course of 25 years, Youssoupha has developed thousands of fans all over the world. He has performed and recorded with many exceptional musicians.
Grammy nominated for his collaboration with Matisyahu (Youth), he has released albums with the late Charles Neville (Tree of Life), Midnite (For All), Steve Kimock, and a duet with Michael Franti (What I be), and performed live with India Arie, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Michael Kang of String Cheese Incident, Chris Berry Trio, Shimshai, and many others.
Youssoupha has performed at some of the most famous festivals and venues in the world including :The Hammerstein Ballroom NYC, The Warfield Theatre SF CA, The African Festival of the Arts Chicago, Reggae Rising, Reggae on the River CA, Stanford University, Salmon Arm Roots and Blues British Columbia, to name a few.
Founder and Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology
Jeffrey Smith is the leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO and organic food. A bestselling author and award-winning filmmaker, he has spoken in 45 countries and counseled world leaders on every continent on this subject.
Paola di Florio
Filmmaker, Founder & President of Counterpoint Films
Paola di Florio is an Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and TV producer whose work has featured extraordinary individuals and the triumph of the human spirit. Her films have been distributed theatrically throughout the world and broadcast on HBO, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, CNN, Sundance Channel, Court TV, TLC and A&E.
She co-wrote & directed the critically-acclaimed AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda (one of the top-grossing indie documentaries of 2014-15) and served as a Series Producer on CNN’s Emmy-nominated The Seventies.
The New York Times described her work as “extraordinary” and “poignant…”
Los Angeles Times found it “deeply affecting, revelatory [and] gripping…”
Hollywood Reporter said that it “should be required viewing for all Americans.”
Di Florio graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has served on film juries and panels, and guest lectured at UCLA, USC, Berkeley, Stanford and other universities and conferences. A mentor for teenage girls at the Spark Program, she is also a founding partner of Nerd Girls, a new media startup dedicated to creating new role models and empowering young women to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, math and arts (STEAM).
Di Florio is married to filmmaker/author and Counterpoint Films partner Peter Rader, and is the proud mother of their two sons, Matteo and Luca.
Director: Business & Creative Affairs, Counterpoint Films
Peter Rader has worked as a film and television writer for 25 years, beginning with his first script, "Waterworld," which was produced by Universal in 1995. He has since developed numerous projects for industry leaders such as Steven Spielberg, Dino De Laurentiis and John Davis. In the nonfiction arena, Rader has worked on a number of award-winning documentary projects, including "AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda," which he produced and edited.
As an author, his first book, "Mike Wallace: A Life" (St. Martin’s Press, 2012), was a critically acclaimed biography of the legendary CBS journalist, which Rader was subsequently hired to adapt into a script for director Rob Reiner. More recently, he published "Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever" (Simon & Schuster, 2018), which is being adapted for the screen by Emmy & Golden Globe-winner Michael Sucsy.
Rader attended Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He is accomplished in a broad range of fields, including music and photography.
Jess Magic is a "heartist", a soul-stirring songstress, and a catalyzing force for love amongst today's generation of change-makers.
More than a singer, Jess Magic is a musical story-teller who creates compelling opportunities for people to interact with life from an open heart. In a world where so many are longing for deeper levels of connection, authentic expression and intimacy, Jess weaves a "spell" of love with each song, story and event to reveal aspects of the human experience that crack open the hearts of those who are touched by her presence.
As an emcee (a.k.a. "Mistress of Ceremonies"), a speaker and a social entrepreneur, Jess Magic uses her voice and charismatic presence to break down barriers between artist and audience, giving people permission to drop the masks and be seen in their most raw, joyful and sincere expression.
Jess has been touring nationally and internationally for four years, including San Francisco, Harlem, Necker Island, New Zealand, Israel, Morocco, Bali, Mexico, Washington DC and Costa Rica, offering her virtual Free Your Voice programs, Feminine Embodiment Retreats and offering live Soul Salons where she blends story-telling with original music and improvisation, inviting the audience and other performing artists to be a part of the creative process.
Magic traverses diverse cultural landscapes by connecting directly to the aspects of humanity that anyone and everyone can connect with. She was invited by the All Ladies League to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Women Economic Forum in New Delhi for 1500 women from 155 different countries, and the black tie Women in Leadership Gala at the 2016 COPP 22 in Marrakech. She has offered her Free Your Voice program and original gospel music at California's Lightning in a Bottle festival and Burning Man, been a featured speaker and performer at Costa Rica's Envision Festival, was the nightly emcee at Bali Spirit Festival 2018, a featured presenter at MindValley’s A-Fest 2018 and a keynote contributor for the Resonance Academy Retreat 2019.
Her universal message to connect to the wisdom of our hearts transcends race, age, culture, socio-economic status and appeals to some of the most tender, resilient, and sacred aspects of the human experience .
She has supported thousands of men and women in overcoming the shame, fear, and self-judgment so they can live more fulfilling lives. “Ms. Magic” was recently featured in the New York Times for her traveling Soul Salons, and work bringing more love and connection into the lives “tech elites”.
Her favorite saying is “We don’t sing to be good. We sing to be free."
Founding Partner, Renewal Funds
Joel Solomon is a Founding Partner of Renewal Funds, Canada's largest mission venture capital firm, at $200m+ assets under management. Investing in Organics and EnviroTech in Canada and the USA, Renewal Funds is GIIRS-rated, a founding Canadian B Corp (5x “Best for the World”), a “1% for the Planet” member, recognized as ImpactAssets “Top 50 impact fund managers.”
With visionary investor Carol Newell, Joel co-founded Renewal Partners to invest in sustainable businesses including Stonyfield Yoghurt, Seventh Generation, and Happy Planet. Together, they pioneered a “whole portfolio activation to mission” strategy, using a social change investing approach, with a regional sustainable economy focus. Joel Co-Produces the Integrated Capital Institute with Akaya Windwood, Marian Moore and RSF Social Finance. He is the author of The Clean Money Revolution: Re-Inventing Power, Purpose & Capitalism, with Co-Author Tyee Bridge. Joel is a frequent public speaker, including a TEDxVancouver talk. He is a founding member of Social Venture Circle (SVC), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the Tides Canada Foundation, and recently completed a quarter century as board chair of Hollyhock. Joel was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement” Award from the Social Venture Circle, and was inducted with Carol Newell into the SVC “Hall of Fame”.
Sound Healing Practitioner
Minna Sivola is a certified sound healing practitioner (California Institute of Integral Studies, CA and Sound and Music Institute, NY), teacher, mentor and owner of Your Sound Connection. Minna worked for 17 years at Nokia Corporation as a Senior Sourcing Manager dealing with timezone differences, multitasking, demanding deadlines and ever changing requirements. Sleeping disorder, high blood pressure and difficulties to focus became very familiar. When co-workers started to leave for long sick leaves suffering from burnout, it was time to look for options how to prevent that happening.
Over the years Minna tried various forms of meditation, yoga and other somatic practices. Eventually she was introduced to the use of sound vibration as a vehicle for well-being and balance. This discovery triggered profound and valuable insights on ways to assist people to become more present, and fostering relaxation in the body and the mind by implementing sound centering tools.
Built on Minna’s direct experience and extensive studies on the effective and affective power of sound in stress management, she has created the thriving Sound Rejuvenation Program in the San Francisco Bay Area corporations.
Dr. Roger Jahnke
CEO, Health Action Synergies
Dr. Roger Jahnke, OMD has dedicated his professional life as a Doctor of Chinese Medicine to sharing the powerful holistic healing traditions of China.
Author of The Healer Within and The Healing Promise of Qi, Dr. Jahnke has been a practitioner of Qigong and Tai Chi for over four decades. He serves as Director and Lead Trainer of the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC) and as a consultant to hospitals, social service agencies, and corporations on complementary and integrative medicine, wellness, and medical cost reduction.
Dr. Jahnke is renowned for the clarity, compassion, humor and depth of his teaching style. Along with colleagues at the IIQTC Dr. Jahnke has contributed to the research evidence base supporting the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi, and has trained over two thousand teachers and practice leaders around the world.
Award-Winning Investigative Journalist
Lilia Luciano is an award-winning investigative journalist, documentary film director, producer and public speaker. Luciano has a unique style of reporting that was developed over a decade of video storytelling. She is the chief investigative correspondent for Discovery Channel's Border Live and investigative reporter at Tegna's ABC10.
In 2019 her documentary Puerto Rico Rises, which she directed and produced for ABC 10 in Sacramento, earned her a Walter Cronkite Award for excellence in journalism as well as a regional Emmy Award. Her work on the U.S. Mexico border earned her an Emmy Award in 2019 and her coverage of the Northern California Wildfires have received regional Emmys two years in a row as well an Edward R. Murrow Award.
She is the director and producer of Wars of Others, an HBO Latino film about the social, environmental, health and security consequences of the war on drugs in Colombia. She also worked as a host on several VICE platforms, including VICE News, VICELAND and Munchies. She is the founder of CoInspire, a video and event platform that explores values of entrepreneurship.
Luciano sits on the Advisory Board of the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign to promote access to quality education and the well-being of girls worldwide. She has been a speaker and moderator at multiple tech conferences around the world, including The Oslo Freedom Forum, TEDx, Nexus Global Youth Summit, SIME and Reinvention.
As a national NBC News correspondent, reporting in both English and Spanish, Luciano led coverage of a number of high-profile news stories and reported for NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, MSNBC, The Weather Channel, CNBC and Telemundo.
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Luciano is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Kathy Le Backes
Vice President of Development & Research at Wise Entertainment
Kathy has been working with TV and film writers on social issues for over a decade and is passionate about promoting social change through entertainment and new media.
Kathy is currently the Vice President of Development & Research at Wise Entertainment. She oversees integration of social issues into Wise Entertainment’s creative IPs, manages relationships with non-profit organizations that serve on the company’s advisory committees. Kathy is also a producer whose credits include Wise Entertainment’s six-time Emmy-nominated Hulu original drama, East Los High as well as various transmedia and social media campaigns.
Prior to joining Wise Entertainment, Kathy served as the Digital Campaign Manager for the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Stand Up To Cancer program. In that role, she oversaw, produced and executed multi-platform digital and social media campaigns to help raise cancer awareness and to help raise millions of dollars for collaborative cancer research. In addition to producing campaigns and behind-the-scenes videos for the 2012 Stand Up To Cancer national telecast, she also ran digital philanthropy campaigns for brands such as Lucasfilm, Major League Baseball, Safeway and MasterCard.
Before her role at the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Kathy served as a Program Manager at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center's Hollywood, Health & Society program, where she bridged partnerships between the entertainment industry and non-profit organizations, foundations and federal health agencies to facilitate TV storylines that educate viewers on social issues and encourage them to make positive behavioral change. At the Norman Lear Center, she also produced events at the Writers Guild of America, West, spearheaded a workshop on storytelling for the CDC, and participated in numerous studies measuring the impact of television storylines.
Kathy has also published articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented at national conferences and is a routine guest lecturer at USC, UCLA and MSMU on entertainment and social impact. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Prior to obtaining her master's degree, Kathy conducted infectious disease and cancer research at Novartis, Inc. (formerly Chiron Corporation). Kathy also holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.
Mayor of Nevada City
In 1994 Reinette Senum would become the first woman to cross Alaska alone. It would be during this isolated winter solo trek, filmed by Reinette for National Geographic, that she would learn, of all things, the power of community. Ultimately, lessons learned along the trail would become the catalyst for Reinette's community work later in life.
For the last dozen years Reinette's focus has been on building her hometown, Nevada City, California, as a more resilient community through creative and unconventional means. Through risk assessment, public outreach, and a daily hands-on approach, Reinette has been on the forefront of curating Nevada City towards a more sustainable and connected future. Whether as a city council member, mayor, or community activist, her community-changing projects such as the city-sanctioned sustainable vision, the organic Nevada City Farmers Market, construction of 40 portable micro-houses for the homeless, launching a county-wide TimeBank, or a fostering a test-pilot for a town square, Reinette has changed the conversation while reweaving community for a more challenging and unpredictable future.
District #2 Compassion Ambassador/Compassionate Sacramento
Sonny Walebowa was born in Botswana, then moved to the United States in 1997 on a scholarship. Sonny holds a BFA in Film and Television Production and a Masters in Human Services specializing in Executive Leadership. As a theater group facilitator, he engaged incarcerated creators and volunteers in a national award-winning 12 week art-therapy program. Recently, he developed a program for Sacramento Urban League called “UBUNTU.” Sonny is President of Vangoland Enterprises, a media company which focuses on storytelling and Botswana Tourism. In addition to writing fiction and screenplays for young readers, Sonny has written a biography on Nelson Mandela. He also speaks regularly at conferences on Storytelling and Technology.
Rosa Lee Harden
Co-Founder of SOCAP & Episcopal Priest
The Rev. Canon Rosa Lee Harden is a self-described serial-entrepreneur. Her vocational life has included being publisher of weekly newspapers, trade journals, a business journal and CEO of a ‘Silicon Valley’ start-up. She was ordained as an Episcopal Priest in 2000 and served as Vicar of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in San Francisco for ten years during which time its adult membership doubled and the number of children younger than 12 went from two to more than 50.
In 2008, she and her husband, Kevin Jones, launched the global SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) conference, described as ‘the conference at the intersection of money and meaning.’ In its 11th year, SOCAP18 brought more than 3,000 people from more than 60 countries to San Francisco to talk about how to accelerate the good economy. More recently they have launched GatherLab a conference/lab with the goal of transforming the economy for good. Her personal goal in this space is to help bring into consciousness how money impacts and guides life’s decisions – for both good and ill – and to guide conversations that help people uncover their own ‘money stories.’
Her passions include her grandchildren, the drum and bugle corps activity where she currently serves as president of the 19-time World Champion Blue Devils, and ballroom dance.
VP of Social Impact, Participant Media
As VP of Social Impact, Amanda is responsible for the design and successful execution of social impact campaigns for Participant Media's documentary and narrative media slate. Amanda works to build strategic partnerships with non-profits, government and private sector organizations to ensure that films like Ai Wei Wei's Human Flow, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, or The Price of Free, reach key influential audiences and all audiences are equipped with the tools for meaningful engagement. Before focusing exclusively on Participant's social impact campaigns, Amanda built and oversaw Take Part World, a trans-media global health and development content series funded by the Gates Foundation.
Prior to Participant, Amanda was Associate Director of Commitments and Head of Global Health at the Clinton Global Initiative, where she oversaw global health-related programming and worked with corporate and NGO members to structure projects in the areas of food systems, the health of women and girls, early childhood development, and HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. At CGI, Amanda led strategic efforts to optimize the organization's platform for storytelling, partnership, and action. Her background also includes work for the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Citrix Online, and Education First in research, marketing, and curriculum development, respectively.
Amanda is a SCLN Leadership LA Fellow and was named one of Variety’s New Hollywood Leaders in Social Impact in 2018. She has a B.A. in International Development Studies and an M.A. in Global and International Studies (Global Political Economy) and lives in Los Angeles.
Conscious Filmmaker, Cinematographer
A true citizen of the world, his work offers an aesthetic and social reach that surpasses conventional western expectation. His diversity in features, commercials,music videos and documentary allows him to bring a skillset from one genre to the other, always enhancing the final product. Gallo’s work reflects an unflinching eye and a constant pursuit of truth through his imagery and in his life. His work has covered everything from Will.i.am to amputee soccer in Sierra Leone and his commercial work has spanned clients from Alfa Romeo to Nike. The HEAL documentary is in perfect alignment with his work in conscious media and his desire to change the world with his art. For features his work has been accepted at Sundance, SXSW, Cannes and Venice film festival. Gallo’s work remains current in today's ever changing world as he is consciously staying current and changing as well. Gallo is used to being an indie outsider, and engaging in film adventures around the world ( filmed on 6 continents, C'mon job in Antarctica!!!). He has spent a lifetime absorbing and observing a diverse cross-section of American and international society. Perhaps that’s why he is just as comfortable filming for The National Geographic as he is shooting commercials for Chrysler. Gallo brings an authenticity with him stemming from an openness to people and a desire to hear, and tell, their stories. It is this knack for taking the reality of the world and translating it cinematically that lends a real sense of genuine emotional humanity to all his work. Plus he is funny and speaks 2 1/2 languages
In his downtime you can find him on his bicycle, motorcycle, swimming/surfing or camping in his vintage VW Westfalia. Creating community, and giving back is an absolute for Gallo's life and his most rewarding experiences to date. He has mentored at Venice High School's film dept, Venice Arts at risk youth program, coaching soccer for Ayso and volunteering at Zeno Mountain Farms film camp where they make films for people with and with out disabilities. Gallo lives in Venice Beach Ca. has three sons and that means Sunday is for Spaghetti and Family, Period! (unless he's on location)
Clare is an Earth loving social entrepreneur and inspirational speaker who worked internationally for 18 years facilitating groups, coaching business leaders and creating behaviour change processes within the personal growth sector.
As a Be The Change Symposium facilitator and freelance writer, she worked for three years as the UK co-ordinator for a massive agro-forestry initiative in southern India called Project GreenHands (PGH) before initiating TreeSisters. Through her work with PGH she has distilled the social mobilisation strategy deployed with great success in India, and now turns it towards the mobilisation of women within TreeSisters.
Clare is leading the campaign, but TreeSisters at all levels is jointly held and developed within the circle of core team members. Her passion has always included exploring how patterns of consciousness manifest as behaviours and her primary work is in the creation of processes, tools, courses, and messaging that can access the nature connected essence of woman and activate new forms of leadership. She works on network development, ethos and principles, organisational culture and strategy as they relate to the Map of 5 Choices and behaviour change materials.
She is committed to the creation of an evolving system that learns as it goes and continually models itself upon the flows and forms of living systems. In her own life, her aim is to reclaim balance, to revel in freedom and health and to be 'walking permission' for those who are fed up of being held back, and just want to have a go.
Founder, Sacred Anatomy
Born an intuitive with extraordinary clairvoyant, clairaudient and clairsentient abilities, Mrs. Zuckerman has made an in-depth study of the subtle energies that, since childhood, she has witnessed around all living things. She has spent the better part of her life working to understand and use her gifts. What began as a personal quest for understanding has blossomed into a comprehensive mapping of Human Energy Structure as described in her book, Your Sacred Anatomy, an Owners Guide to the Human Energy Structure. She is the founder of the transformational healing system based on this subtle anatomy, Sacred Anatomy Energy Medicine.
At the core of the practical application of this Sacred Anatomy is the Edge Practice - a way of relating to the world from the very edge of your subtle structure - a life skill that provides a basis for powerful energetic boundaries.
Desda teaches online through the Shift Network and through her own school, Sacred Anatomy Academy. She has been a featured speaker and taught classes throughout the US and in Canada, England & Spain. She currently teaches in the SF Bay Area, and works with individual clients locally and worldwide.
Human Rights Expert
Amandine Roche is a Human Right Expert with over 15 years of experience in conflict contexts across Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. She has worked with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping, European Commission, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UN WOMEN, IOM, and USAID. Her professional experience is focused on human rights, democratization, education, strategic communication, training, media awareness, and gender/youth empowerment.
Amandine has participated in more than 20 peace and democratic processes around the world. The United Nations have recognized her as an authority in conflict resolution and peace building. She is the founder of the Amanuddin Foundation in Afghanistan.
Amandine is also a yoga and meditation teacher and implementing in the Middle East the inner peace keeping program for the UN Humanitarian working on the Syrian crisis. The program is a complementary aid to help the UN achieve the purpose of creating a healthy and productive environment, supporting wellbeing, improving the quality of their work, and promoting emotional, cognitive, spiritual and physical health.
District #3 Compassion Ambassador / Compassionate Sacramento
Tynya recently retired from being EDD’s Chief Learning Officer of 14 years with a total of 27 years with the State of California and specializes in Organizational Development. She is an executive coach and trainer in the areas of change and performance management conflict resolution & Mediation, Training for Trainers, Diversity, Facilitation and leadership training. She is a community leader and spiritual practitioner in both community well-being and youth development and is currently Community Chaplain with the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Sacramento.
Chair of the Rotary World Peace Conference 2020
Rudy Westervelt has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Connecticut. His consulting company, Power in Learning, helps organizations achieve operational excellence through leadership training, managing change and making effective use of all resources. Rudy is a member of the Rotary E-Club of World Peace, D5330. He also is a trained mediator and a member of Mediators Beyond Borders International. Rudy is president of Solutions for Peace Foundation Inc.
Rudy served as Rotary District 5330 Governor in 2015-16. During that year, Rudy convened the Rotary World Peace Conference 2016, a Rotary International Presidential Conference. The conference had nearly 1800 attendees, over 100 solution-based breakout sessions, and set the standard for future peace conferences. Rudy is Convener and Chair of the Rotary World Peace Conference 2020, which will be held on January 17-18, 2020 in Ontario, California.
Rudy is passionate about peace, motivating Rotarians and others to join together to create peace in their communities around the world. He believes in one humanity, where each person has a right to live in peace.
Lisa A. Berkley
Advisor/Compassionate California, City Councilmember/Marina, CA
Lisa A. Berkley is the director and founder of the Institute for Inner Economy, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to operationalizing positive peace for governance, diplomacy, and civil progress. More than 25 years of experience in Interpersonal Conflict Resolution, Alternative Medicine and Holistic Education, contribute to her expertise in leading cities to become sustainable, inclusive, peaceful, and compassionate. She currently serves as a City Councilmember for her home city of Marina, CA. Additionally, she sits in leadership positions on a number of boards including Democratic Women of Monterey County, Community Human Services of Monterey County, AMBAG and the Housing Resource Center of Monterey County.
Felicia Lenee Williams
CoFounder / Compassionate ARTS in Action
Felecia Lenee Williams, better known as Fe Love to her fans, in addition to her leadership role with Compassionate California, is also with Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles, and co-founder of Compassionate ARTS in Action. She also works as the Youth Program Director and Creative Strategist for the national project, Posts for Peace & Justice. Fe Love is the host and creator of the Artist Eclectic pLAygROUND, a “pop-up” event space that supports new as well as established artists and innovative entrepreneurs primarily in the Pasadena and Greater Los Angeles area.
Author, Speaker & Viral Marketing Pioneer
Jonah Sachs is an author, speaker and viral marketing pioneer. His new approaches to digital media have been critical in bringing the ideals of social change — such as equity, empowerment, responsibility and transparency — to the forefront of business and popular culture.
Jonah helped to create some of the world’s first, and still most heralded, digital social change campaign. As co-founder of Free Range Studios, his work on Amnesty International’s blood diamonds viral film was seen by 20 million people and was delivered to every member of congress, helping drive the passage of the Clean Diamond Act.
He later helped to create “The Story of Stuff,” which, viewed by over 60 million people, marked a turning point in the fight to educate the public about the environmental and social impact of consumer goods. Jonah went onto to lead groundbreaking campaigns for Greenpeace, Human Rights Campaigns and the ACLU, as well as major brands including Microsoft and Patagonia.
Jonah’s work and opinions have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Sundance Film Festival, NPR. Sachs also pens a column for Fast Company, which named him one of today’s 50 most influential social innovators.
ACoFounder, Compassionate Capital Region
District #1 Compassion Ambassador/Compassionate Sacramento
Joan Marie is the owner of Compassion Central in Carmichael, a venue with a mission to host and promote educational and cultural events and trainings that serve veterans, women and girls.
She is co-founder of Compassionate Capitol Region, an Ambassador for Compassionate Women and Girls, a Conscious Touch Educator and VP/Founder of the Healing Hands Healing Hearts Veterans’ program. Joan also works with A Therapeutic Alternative in its Healing Yourself Naturally Program. She is currently the Producer and Host of the webinar series V2020. Most recently, Joan presented Sacramento’s Compassionate Cities model at the Parliament of World Religions in Toronto, Canada.
Melissa Hensel, LCSW
District #6 Compassion Ambassador / Compassionate Sacramento
Melissa has 15 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents and adults in family service agencies, schools, health clinics and psychiatric departments. She values the importance of starting where her client is and respecting their personal values and beliefs, providing a safe non-judgmental environment vital to establishing open communication and clarity. In partnership with Chill Sacramento, Melissa is leading the development and implementation of a school-based mindfulness program as a foundation for enhancing mental focus, self-awareness and emotional resilience.
Founder of Compassionate Santa Monica
Zoë Muntaner is a storyteller, a speaker on media and publishing as it relates to the intersectionality of politics, art, education, business, technology, and diversity. Zoë, a bilingual Puerto Rican is an animated, articulate, and visionary speaker, who engages audiences in how to develop and broadcast their message with change-agents and people who want to make a difference or develop a brand aligned with social justice and social entrepreneurship.
Her adage is "Government should be the servant of the people, NOT the ruler of the people." She has spoken passionately, courageously, and convincingly before the Santa Monica City Council to get a unanimous vote to sign the Charter for Compassion in 2013 and on issues related to human trafficking, affordable housing, worker and animal rights.
As a citizen journalist she writes for The Santa Monica Mirror and The Santa Monica Observer. She is the Founder of Compassionate Santa Monica, Giving Tuesday Santa Monica and MOON Media & Communications.
Oakland Councilmember At-Large, President of Oakland City Council
Rebecca Kaplan was born in Ontario, Canada and grew up living with a universal healthcare system, in a family and community which encouraged her to fight for the rights of workers. Stories about the history of worker abuses and the fight for worker rights, such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, as well as people giving their lives for social justice, such as the murder of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were part of Rebecca's upbringing and inform her values.
Rebecca attended MIT as an undergraduate, where she was actively involved in organizing for women’s rights and reproductive freedom, LGBT equality, and part of the successful effort to get her campus to divest from apartheid-era South Africa. She volunteered on the re-election campaign of Senator Kennedy, and worked for the City of Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women. Rebecca obtained her law degree from Stanford Law School, where she had the opportunity to learn from teachers like Michelle Alexander (author of The New Jim Crow) and became involved in advocacy for prisoner rights and against mass incarceration. She worked in Oakland as a tenant’s rights attorney and advocate, and helped pass “Just Cause for Eviction” on the ballot. She served for over seven years on the AC Transit Board of Directors, an elected position, and expanded late night bus service, opposed outsourcing, expanded bike-transit connections, solar power, and sustainable fuel initiatives.
Rebecca now serves as Oakland’s citywide elected Councilmember, elected November 2008, and was unanimously selected by her colleagues to be President of the Oakland City Council in January. Rebecca serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission, which represents all the local government agencies and transit providers in the Bay Area. She led her colleagues in successfully passing the 2019-2021 budget with increased investments to combat the homeless crisis, create and preserve affordable housing, maintain Oakland's parks, and tackle illegal blight remediation. The budget also restored cuts to Parks Maintenance positions and increased funding around police accountability and workforce development.
Interactive Installation Designer, Live Electronic Music Producer/Performer
Rich DDT is an interactive installation designer, live electronic music producer/performer, and event organizer. His custom work for museums, public spaces, and art events features emerging technologies to create an awe-inspiring, educational and playful environment for human connection.
He has been designing interactions since 2008, curating experiences that encourage collaborative group creativity in digitally augmented spaces. He has mastered sensors and new media software to spark effortless engagement with intuitive & highly responsive interfaces.
Rich DDT co-founded the interactive technology design studio Anticlockwise Arts, the live electronic music and arts agency LoveTech, and has created installations for The Exploratorium, The Tech Museum of Innovation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the CA Academy of Sciences.
On stage, Rich Detonates Dance Tracks in live music performance, wielding his custom ControlliTAR to make contagiously funky dance music, live looped and electrifying, infused with exotic and nostalgic beats and bass blasted world flavors. In the music studio, he crafts full spectrum sound designs from ambient, dub, techno and orchestral to esoteric sound effects and foley.
He has performed at several large events & festivals including Maker Faire, SF MusicTech Summit, Lightning In A Bottle, Symbiosis, Sea of Dreams, Lucidity and Priceless, and been featured in publications such as CNET, Keyboard Magazine, Controllerism.com and the SF Bay Guardian & Chronicle.
At the core of his multifaceted journey lies a tenacious passion for bringing community,
ingenuity, and wondrous new dimensions of expression to the curious among us.
Founder, Just Imagine
Through her company Just Imagine, Brenda Kress brings together her years of experience working with charities and nonprofit trade organizations with her training in contemplation and mindful engagement to work with individuals and groups to create better communication and develop compassion as a core value.
Award-winning Cinematographer, Director & Producer
An award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose notable career spans more than four decades providing breathtaking imagery using his time-lapse, high-speed and macro cinematography techniques.
Schwartzberg is a visual artist who breaks barriers, connects with audiences, and tells stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people, and places.
Louie’s theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film Mysteries of the Unseen World with National Geographic, narrated by Forest Whitaker; the documentary, Wings of Life for Disneynature, narrated by Meryl Streep, and America’s Heart and Soul for Walt Disney Studios.
His latest feature film, Fantastic Fungi, which explores the world of mushrooms and mycelium and illustrates how this fascinating organism can provide sustainable solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems, from curing diseases, to saving the bees, and cleaning the atmosphere will be released in theaters fall, 2019.
Louie has also directed the Soarin’ Around the World; a motion simulator ride film, one of the most popular attractions at Disney Theme Parks worldwide. His Netflix series, Moving Art, was renewed for a third season and will be premiering in September, 2019. Designed to inspire, educate and evolve our perspective on the world, each episode immerses viewers in the natural world, taking them on a journey through time and scale.
Louie’s TED talks have gone viral with over 54 million combined views. His Gratitude Revealed series of shorts were launched on Oprah.com. Supported by the Templeton Foundation, with science and analytics by the Greater Good Center at UC Berkeley, the series explores the multifaceted virtues of gratitude.
Louie is the only filmmaker to be inducted into the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Lemelson Foundation’s Invention Ambassadors Program. For Schwartzberg, the greatest satisfaction is creating works that can have a positive effect on the future of the planet. “I hope my films inspire and open people’s hearts. Beauty is nature’s tool for survival – we protect what we love. That is the shift in consciousness we need to sustain and celebrate life.”
Louie is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, Directors Guild of America and on the board of Earth Day Network.
Intuitive Psychic Counselor & Indigenous Ceremony Facilitator
Rebeca is an intuitive psychic counselor and indigenous ceremony facilitator. As a counselor, she provides energy clearing and healing to enhance client self-awareness and shift their energy vibration so they can transcend subconscious challenges to new clarity for their development and spirit path. She also facilitates ceremonies for special occasions, which can include creating space for healing, or for honoring a special person or occasion.
Renowned DJ, Producer
If music is medicine, Dragonfly’s apothecary of sonic tonics are elixirs for the spirit, melodies for the mind and tribal beats for the body. Be prepared for a journey where all genres and tempos weave together with global voices, village vibes, deep bass, gossamer groove and beckoning beats. It all adds up to an inexplicable, soul-crafting session on the dance floor!
Breathe deeply, go deep, dance hard.
As a vanguard of ecstatic dance and DJ culture and one of the Ecstatic Dance scene's formative figures. Dragonfly has over two decades of experience and 800+ appearances to his name. His one-of-a-kind mixes blend the soundtrack of exotic travels with cutting-edge productions, captivating rhythms and live percussion. Selecting music inspired by the vibrant voices and vibes of The Americas, The Caribbean, The Middle East, Africa, India, and Europe, Dragonfly’s delivery celebrates dancers – and dancefloors – worldwide.
Past Ecstatic Dance appearances have taken him to Oakland, Nevada City, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Antwerp, Portland, Montreal, Los Angeles, Portugal, New York City,Salt Lake City, Hawaii, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Fairfax, Berkeley, Cambria, Sacramento, Willits, Palo Alto, San Diego ... plus Symbiosis and Lightning in A Bottle Festivals.Yoga events and special event appearances include: Yoga Journal Conference, A-Fest, Austin Yoga Festival, Science & Non Duality Conference, No. California Sufi Camp, Neo.Life, Creating Enlightened Society (hosted bySakyong Mipham Rinpoche), David Deida, Bioneers Conference, No. California Permaculture Gatherings,Julia Butterfly Hill fundraiser, Santa Cruz Film Festival, Wild & Scenic Film Fest, and many, many more.
Past festival appearances include. Lightning In A Bottle, Symbiosis Gathering, Enchanted Forest Festival, Lucidity Festival,Wanderlust Festival, Beloved Festival, Northern Nights, Stilldream Festival, Eclipse Festival (Australia), Great Convergence (Egypt), Envision Festival (Costa Rica), Shambala Festival (Canada),Manifest, Peace Village, Burning Man, Juniper Jam, Raindance, Earthdance, Harmony Festival, Awaken, OMIES Fest, Mystic Garden Gathering, Mystic Island Festival and Foreverland.
Author, Artist and Activist
Sylvia Brallier is an Author, Artist and Activist who is focused on improving the well being of humanity and the planet. One of her missions is to awaken people to not only have caring thoughts for each other and the Earth, but to activate humanity to align and act on Sustainable Action Goals to change the world through positive actions.
Speaker, Skilled Facilitator, Author
Michele Mariscal is a speaker, skilled facilitator, and author. She combines her background in training and development, wellness, and spiritual development to help individuals find greater meaning and movement forward in their health, personal life, and career.
The CA Endowment President's Youth Council
Jasmine is from Stockton where she began her organizing career. In 2013 she interned for Council Member Michael Tubbs. In 2014 she was the youngest ever field organizer at age 19 electing Congress Member Jerry McNerney with 60% of the vote. She later became one of the founding members of Reinvent South Stockton Coalition and one of the co-founders of the Stockton Schools Initiative, where she worked with students and families to fight for educational change through policy advocacy work such as Ethnic Studies curriculum in schools, and a push for college career and community readiness. She led the charge for many projects including dismantling the school to prison pipeline, advocating for restorative justice and investments in counselors and coordinators. She was successful in co-authoring a restorative justice resolution that passed in Stockton Unified School District in 2019 with a 6-0 vote. She has been able to cultivate and train hundreds of youth to be agents of change. In addition to serving on boards for Visionary Home Builders, Be Smooth Inc. and Student Success and Leadership Academy, she currently serves on several committees such as Boys of Men of Color Alliance, Stockton Education Equity Coalition and Stockton Scholars Community. In 2018 Jasmine was awarded the Key to the City from Mayor Michael Tubbs and presented with a mural dedication commissioned to artist Brandon Mike Odums.
Jasmine now serves as the Senior Regional Organizer with Gathering for Justice leading efforts in San Joaquin and Ventura counties on a statewide campaign to close youth prisons in CA and ensure community, youth, families and CBOs have a seat at the table in reimagining alternatives to youth incarceration.
producer, brand strategist and author
Joy Donnell is a producer, brand strategist and author. When she isn’t behind the camera creating editorials, documentaries, short films and visual campaigns, she's on stage speaking about media, parity and public image. One of Joy's most recent projects is with The Africa Channel and includes a 10-episode docuseries and social media campaign. Entitled "What If Movie Icons Wore African Fashion?", the campaign raises awareness for pan-African entrepreneurship, cultural understanding and conscious fashion. Joy is Chief Visionary of SUPERJOY Media as well as a cofounder of the Center for Intersectional Media and Entertainment, or CIME. Her forthcoming book, Beyond Brand, focuses on using media to build cultural legacy and is available fall 2019.
The CA Endowment President's Youth Council
Karla is a community organizer from Boyle Heights. Her organizing career began in high school when her mother encouraged her to become more active in community. Karla’s mom founded the East Los Angeles Women’s Center (ELAWC) which centers its focus to ensure that women, girls and their families live in a place of safety, health, and personal well-being, free from violence and abuse, have access to necessary health services and social support with an emphasis on Latino communities. Through ELAWC Karla discovered her voice and power. She became and continues to be empowered by other women for whom she has much gratitude. Since then she has fallen in love with the movement, fighting for social justice and sharing her knowledge. Karla attended Sisterhood Rising in 2015 and describes herself as a lotus terrified of letting her guard down. She sees that she has blossomed into a courageous leader. Karla has gained experience in developing, implementing and supporting programs for young leaders. As a Youth Engagement Coordinator for ELAWC, Karla mentors student leaders and supports youth lead programming with the purpose of strengthening leadership and self-development through literature analysis, journaling and critical thinking as a learning process.
Karla is an undergraduate at California State University, Los Angeles as it working to obtain her bachelor’s degree in sociology
Dr. Nicole Haggard
Award-winning Instructor, Speaker and Published Researcher
Dr. Nicole Amber Haggard is an award-winning instructor, speaker and published researcher with sixteen years of study contextualizing the intersection of race and gender in American culture. In addition to being a faculty member in the Film, Media, and Social Justice program at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Dr. Nicole is the Director of Communications for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and co-founder of the Center for Intersectional Media and Entertainment (CIME: pronounced /see-me/).
Dr. Nicole is a featured expert for outlets like Variety, Glamour, and NBC. She has appeared on panels and given workshops for United State of Women, Saatchi and Saatchi’s Viva Women Campaign, 100 Women Change Hollywood, Wordaful, the Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California, Wonder Women Tech, the International Conference on Multimedia and Engineering, American Studies Association, Women’s Studies Association, TEDxMSMU and more. Recently, Take the Lead selected Dr. Nicole as a participant for their 50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment initiative.
Her published work includes “Women in Hollywood: The Ongoing Fight for Equality” (2018, co-authored with Dr. Caroline Heldman), “Film and Television” entries for the Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California (2016-2019), and chapters in “Race in American Film” (ABC-CLIO, 2017), “A History of Evil in American Pop Culture (Praeger, 2014) and “American Multicultural Studies” (Sage, 2013). She is currently completing her forthcoming book “Race, Sex, and Hollywood.”
Dr. Nicole holds a PhD in American Studies, Saint Louis University, and a BA in American Studies and Ethnicity: Cultural and Intellectual Life from the University of Southern California. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
Morning Star Gali
Project Director, Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples
Morning Star Gali is a member of the Ajumawi band of Pit River located in Northeastern California. Ms. Gali serves as the California Tribal and Community Liaison for the International Indian Treaty Council, working for the Sovereignty and Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands. She is a Tribal water policy organizer for Save California Salmon and has worked as the Regional Network Weaver for Native Americans in Philanthropy. Ms. Gali is also a graduate of Native Americans in Philanthropy's Circle of Leadership Academy in 2013.
She is a 2019 Open Society Institute Racial Equity fellow, Funders for Justice fellow 2018-2021 and a 2016-2018 Rosenberg Foundation Leading Edge Fellow, focusing on the disproportionate impact of the criminal and juvenile justice systems on Native Americans. Between 2012-2016, Ms.Gali previously worked as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Pit River Tribe and continues to lead large-scale actions while helping organize Native cultural, spiritual, scholarly, and political gatherings throughout California.
Morning Star serves as a board member for the Sovereign Bodies Institute, California Indian Heritage Center Foundation and Women's Health Specialists of California along with serving on a number of advisory committees that advocate for the sovereignty and self-determination of California’s indigenous peoples and protection of sacred lands.
Women’s Leadership Coach, Strategist, Writer
Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed., is a women’s leadership coach, strategist, writer and consultant, hailed by the United Nations Foundation as “a voice for women and girls around the world.” She is the author of the bestselling book, Find Your Voice: A Woman’s Call to Action, a popular TEDx speaker for her unique approach to activating women’s leadership, and the co-founder and co-director of 50 Women Can Change the World in Media & Entertainment and 100 Women Change Hollywood.
Through her speaking appearances, classes and private consulting practice, Tabby has supported thousands of women on their path into greater leadership, from business leaders, to media personalities, to celebrity activists, to filmmakers, to entrepreneurs. As a leader at the forefront of the movement for gender equality and the advancement of women and girls, Tabby has presented at the UN Commission on the Status of Women and served as a United Nations Foundation Press Fellow at the UN General Assembly reporting on women and girls.
Tabby has been featured by national and international media, including The Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, UN Dispatch, Current TV and NPR. She received her Masters in Education from Bank Street College in New York City and her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Colby College. Tabby lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband and young son.
Learn more at tabbybiddle.com
The CA Endowment President's Youth Council
Kimberly grew up in South Sacramento, in a community with rich family values, hard working immigrants, cultural diversity, love and so much untapped potential. In high school she helped advance the #Health4All campaign at the local and statewide level through peer-to-peer education, storytelling, marches and protests. Kimberly continued her advocacy in college with a special focus on digital organizing to help combat problematic narratives that were, in part, fueling divisions, hate crimes and internalized social stigma. More importantly she began to use the storytelling capabilities of social media to help amplify the voice of a generation, community and people who did not want the country to slip back but move forward. She helped organize wellness pop-ups across the state in places like Stockton, Santa Cruz, San Jose, the Central Valley and Los Angeles to help young people hold space to heal, create a shared vision and recognize their collective strength. She hopes to increasingly step into her role as a leader to bring greater attention and break the school to prison pipeline that has harmed so many of her childhood friends.
Today Kimberly is an adviser at Rosa Parks K-8, introducing junior high school-aged youth to health justice campaigns and tending to the social emotional needs of young people and upcoming community champions to leverage statewide power for the purpose of systems change.
Restorative Women & Girls Services Coordinator, RJOY
Naima Shalhoub, is the Restorative Women and Girls Services Coordinator for RJOY with an M.A. in Postcolonial Anthropology. She is a vocalist, musician, performer and educator. For the past twelve years Shalhoub’s work has explored the “borderlands” of belonging, memory, and freedom to which she refers in her TedXLAU talk in Beirut. Within that, her community organizing work has focused on interrupting and ending cycles of violence from military occupation, colonization and the prison-industrial complex while participating in the collective imagination and dreaming of a liberating present and future.
Three years before joining RJOY this year, Naima was a school-based RJ coordinator for Oakland Unified School District for two years and taught music full-time for one year at a charter school in Richmond. Naima has toured the United States and Lebanon extensively with her music and community organizing work. She has performed at national conferences and universities such as the National Conference on Community and Restorative Justice, Rutgers University, the National Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and others.
She's given keynotes speeches at secondary schools, taught at universities such as San Francisco State University, and her intersectional work combining music, performance and social justice with a focus on ending the prison industrial complex has been featured on AJ+, the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Express, Upworthy and others. She has recently completed her second album.
Program Director, RJOY
Katherine Culberg, RN, PHN, Program Director. Katherine, a Euro-American and queer woman, began her career as a registered nurse, who quickly developed a passion for public health and social justice. Her focus has been on adolescent girls and boys in urban, under served, and under resourced areas. Katherine has worked in remote areas of Nicaragua with teen mothers. She has been active in developing and managing school based health centers in Oakland as well as providing direct service to youth as a school nurse.
After years of feeling that traditional intervention and prevention models were limited, she began to look for additional ways to best meet the healing needs of those youth she worked with and loved. She turned to the study and practice of Restorative Justice, ultimately resulting in a position with RJOY on an independent contractor basis directing the re-entry program at Camp Sweeney and facilitating Victim Offender Education groups at San Quentin State Prison with Insight Prison Project.
CEO, Women’s Foundation
Surina Khan is CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California where she leads the Foundation’s work to advance gender, racial, and economic justice. The Foundation’s program strategy is focused on building community-based power through investing in nonprofit organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, connecting key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources. For more than two decades, Surina has been a leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit social justice sector starting with local community-based publishing in New England and then shifting to national and global work on an array of social justice issues including gender justice, LGBT rights, human rights, and democratic and civic participation.
She served the social justice and philanthropic sector in a variety of ways including previous positions at the Ford Foundation, OutRight Action International, and Political Research Associates. She is Co-Chair of the Board of Funders for Reproductive Equity and serves on several other Boards including Voices for Progress, Alliance for Justice, La Cocina, the American LGBTQ Museum, and the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative. Her previous Board service has included Funders for LGBTQ Issues and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. She is a recognized expert on gender, racial, and economic justice issues and is a frequent commentator on the power of women’s philanthropy.
Development Director, RJOY
Ellen Barry, Development Director, has worked to advance the civil and human rights of prisoners, formerly incarcerated people, their children and families for over 40 years. She founded Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), an organization focusing on the racial and class-based impact of the criminal justice system, in 1978 and was executive director through 2001. She is a Senior Soros Justice Fellow (1997), a MacArthur Fellow (1998) and, as one of 1000PeaceWomen, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (2005/2008).
She is co-founder of National Network for Women in Prison, Critical Resistance, and the Criminal Justice Initiative Funding Circle. Now a “recovering lawyer,” she has brought over a dozen class action lawsuits on behalf of incarcerated parents and their children. Recently, as executive director of Insight Prison Project, she worked with colleagues to encourage the growth of racial diversity among staff, board and volunteers in this restorative justice organization. She is a family member of formerly incarcerated people and people in recovery, a mother of two amazing young people, a former Blues Club owner, and a recent convert to yoga.
Garry “Malachi” Scott
Re-entry/Community Restorative Justice Coordinator, RJOY
Garry “Malachi” Scott, Re-entry/Community Restorative Justice Coordinator, co-founded the North Oakland Restorative Justice Council and is on the Safety and Services Oversight Commission (Measure Z) in Oakland. Malachi has journalistic experience, including articles in the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has been featured in other articles around the issue of incarceration and restorative justice.
He came to restorative justice through the Victim Offender Education Group, a program of the Insight Prison Project, while incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. During his incarceration, he obtained an Associate’s Degree, co-founded a restorative-justice based group called Kid C.A.T. (Creating Awareness Together) and was the sports editor for the San Quentin Prison News.